Savvy Saturday: Earn cash with Amex Offers via a buyers club
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Editor’s note: Some travel cards come with complicated benefits that are tricky to maximize. This article is part of a series that shows you unique, fun and unintended ways to use your credit card benefits. If you’ve got any questions or have an example of a surprising way to maximize a credit card perk, tweet us @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com.
The Amex Offers program is one of the single greatest card benefits of all time. These are targeted statement credits that trigger when you use your card at select merchants.
Many American Express cards, including the The Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Gold Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card come with access to Amex Offers. If you have an eligible Amex card, you can locate your Amex Offers by logging into your account online then scrolling down to the section where they are displayed.
Amex Offers are uniquely effective because they can help you save money on purchases you’d already planned to make. For example, there are sometimes big discounts at certain gas stations and some restaurant chains that you don’t have to go out of your way to take advantage of.
But what about those other peripheral offers that you’ve got no intention of redeeming? You can actually make a bit of money from them if you use the following trick.
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The secret: Buyers clubs
A buyers club is a company that pays you to buy products for them. They’re willing to reimburse you because they think they can resell those products at a profit. Oftentimes you simply enter the buyers club’s address as the shipping address, so you don’t have to deal with any packages. When they receive the package, they’ll send your money.
A buyers club may pay you to purchase any variety of things due to changing circumstances. Here are some common examples:
- Dell begins taking orders for its latest-generation laptop
- An oft out-of-stock item like Apple Airpods suddenly go on sale
- The U.S. Mint plans to debut a new gold coin that will sell out quickly
You can sign-up for email alerts from buyers clubs, and you’ll get frequent updates as to what they’re currently after. All you then need to do is keep tabs on your Amex Offers so you’ll know when a buyers club request intersects with a current offer.
When my Amex Platinum Card offered $100 back on Dell purchases of $500+, I personally had no need for Dell products. I instead purchased a computer for a buyers club, and my $100 Dell credit posted within two days. Then the buyers club reimbursed me for the entire purchase within a week, netting me $100.
Buyers clubs can also be a great way to meet minimum spending requirements or simply generate a lot of spending on your credit card. Below are a couple fantastic examples of Amex Offers that can be used with a buyers club. These appear on my Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card:
- 10% back with Dell, up to $1,500
- Up to 75,000 bonus Marriott points after spending $75,000
That Dell offer is especially magical. If I manage to send $15,000 worth of Dell products to a buyers club, I’ll end up $1,500 richer. That’s not completely out of the realm of possibility when computers routinely sell for $500+. You can sometimes even purchase five at a time. Not only that, but I could stack it with the offer to earn bonus points and snag an extra 15,000 Marriott points, worth around another $120 based on TPG’s current points valuations.
That’s an extraordinary set of potential benefits for a card that incurs a $125 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Related: Best American Express cards in 2021
A few caveats
Before you go charging up a storm, just keep a few potential drawbacks in mind.
Orders don’t always go through
There are some buyers clubs for which I’ve personally had a very difficult time making purchases. My guess is that merchants see large quantities of items heading to the same address, and they flag the purchase as potentially fraudulent. This can be very frustrating, as your order may be canceled. Calling to make the purchase can give you a better shot at a successful order, though it’s far less convenient.
Pay directly through the merchant
Amex Offers tend to come with lots of terms and conditions, including some purchases only being eligible through specific links and having to be made directly through the merchant partner. For example, if you were offered $100 back on a Dell purchase, you couldn’t just purchase a Dell computer through Best Buy. The offer would only trigger when you spend through the Dell website.
Only use trusted buyers clubs
At the end of the day, you’re also trusting a buyers club with hundreds (or even thousands) of your hard-earned dollars. When you send them a product, you have very little recourse if they decide not to pay you. I’ve never seen this happen, but it’s still a good idea to research the most reputable buyers clubs before you begin liquidating those hard-to-use Amex Offers. I won’t endorse any specific buyers clubs in this post.
The Amex Offers I receive on my American Express cards effortlessly save me $500+ every year on purchases I planned to make anyway. But with a bit of elbow grease, I can pretty easily double that thanks to buyers clubs. Strategically redeeming Amex Offers can more than offset all my Amex credit card annual fees each year.
Featured photo by PATRICK KOVARIK/Staff/Getty Images.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex, click here.
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Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
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- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
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